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I’m an amateur US Constitution and Supreme Court buff. I was quite happy, therefore, to find a couple of great feeds for news on the court.

Okay, okay, I’ll share.

Here’s the other.

While I was on Medill’s On the Docket site, I happened upon a decision from Monday, April 2. It is fitting that on Earth Day I should find “Court sides with environmental interests in landmark car emissions case.” Of course, environmental non-activist that I am, I found it necessary to go read the original case, Massachusetts v. EPA, which dates to 1999.

Our wonderful Environmental Protection Agency declared in 2003 that it did not have jurisdiction over the regulation of greenhouse gases and that, even if it were within its power, it would opt not to regulate them.

Here’s an excerpt of the article on On the Docket that I found particularly compelling:

…in 1999, environmental groups unsatisfied with the federal government’s response to global warming filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles. They said greenhouse gases should be considered air pollutants and thus, regulated under the federal Clean Air Act.

The petitioners cited Section 202 of the act, which states that the federal government is to regulate “any air pollutant” that can “reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”

The EPA denied the petition in August 2003, saying that the act does not authorize the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and, even if it did, the EPA would not exercise such authority.

The agency cited a study by the National Research Council that concluded that “a causal linkage” between greenhouse gases emissions and global warming “cannot be unequivocally established.” EPA said it was inappropriate for the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions without more understanding about the causes of global warming.

Again, Section 202 of the act “states that the federal government is to regulate “any air pollutant” that can “reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” Can we not make a fair assumption that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming which is likely to have devastating effects on American citizens in the nearer rather than distant future. I fully expect to see horrible global consequences within my lifetime, don’t you?

What better US agency, you may ask, to regulate an air pollutant which can “reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare” than the Environmental Protection Agency?

Oh, I guess I’m just one of those ill-informed, bleeding-heart liberals who’s screaming that the sky is falling for no good reason!

I smile sardonically at the irony of all this. The things today’s “noted scientists” are now proclaiming as truths are all the things the rowdy, smelly environmentalists were ranting about back in 1970, on the first Earth Day. Now the whole world is up in arms over something the tree-huggers were being irrational and extremist over way back when and still the money grubbers don’t want to give an inch.

Record profits for any US company…ever.


Happy Earth Day, all!

What a day today! I awoke to rushing sounds to discover the winds were high. It doesnt matter what day the Mexicans (I know they’re Mexican…I’ve asked) come to blow and vacuum and dispose of the leaves. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday invariably the winds and/or rain will come the following day. They were here yesterday.

I don’t mind, though, because I love crunching through things…leaves, crusty snow, bubble wrap. I’d probably blissfully walk through Frosted Flakes given the chance. Some of my favorite moments have been spent in the woods in the fall, hiking boots on and walking stick in hand. I love the scent of the damp or dessicated leaves, the richness of the earth beneath them as she prepares to nap for a few months. I love the cool air in my nostrils. I love the fall.

It was a wild ride today, though. I still have the windows cracked because it’s been unseasonably warm here this November. The apartment was full of creaks and howls and whistles and rustles. The curtains flapped. The light fixtures rattled. Even Sadie was spooked by the wind and she’s not usually disturbed by the weather.

I drove the car up the hill and parked in the parking lot today. There was a tornado watch until 6PM and gusts up to 80 mph expected so I figured I’d halve my walk. I’d rather be whisked off to Oz in my car than out of it. Sadly, tragedy struck southern North Carolina as a tornado developed and tore through a trailer park. What is it with tornadoes and trailers, anyway? Despite those postulations about the higher mortality rates making for better 11:00 news coverage, I still believe there must be some scientific fact which has not been discovered yet which will prove a definite affinity tornadoes have for people living densely packed in overlarge sardine cans on cinderblocks. Magnetic force? The scoopability of the homes?

It was the first time in a long time I’ve had to lean into the wind as I walked to the ER. Nothing untoward happened on my abbreviated walk except my grey helmet blew up a little at the edges. I’d plastered the hair with gel then blowdrying then more gel then the ironbound hair spray I have left over from Mike and Jen’s wedding and kept my head pointing at fortuitous angles at the wind. The hair mostly didn’t budge and was easily repaired. However, I made sure not to head butt anybody today, even joking around since I could have done some damage.

We’re back to relatively normal now, though the temperature is still weirdly in the 60’s. High should drop to the 50’s over the weekend so I should be able to do some traipsing through crunchy leaves then. Sadie is all calmed down now that the winds are a bit calmer and “Mom’s” home earlyin preparation for a 12-hour day tomorrow. All’s welll with the world.

I hope all my fellow Mid-Atlanticans and Philadelphia-area friends fared equally well and that everybody has electricity. Well, Baltimore can stay in the dark since that’s where the Catholic Conference of Bishops declared yesterday that my sexual orientation is “disordered,” that I am not to be damned unless I actually engage in “same-sex activity,” (Not much liklihood there if they mean with another woman) and that I “possess innate human dignity” from having been “created in the image and likeness of God.” So God is a middle-aged, woman-identified dyke? Cool!

I’m relieved because I was worried about this. Still, the Bishops can sleep in the dark with no air conditioning for a night. I would consider it appropriate payback.

My condolences to the people in the mobile home parks in North Carolina. I hope things are righted for you all soon and I’m sorry about your losses.

Glass of red wine (for the health, you know), a little off-lead walk after the wimpy dogs have gone to bed then bedtime for the bitches. I hope you all fared well in the weather today.


tags: life / tornadoes / trailer parks / wild weather

Before that she bitched about: